Gary Clark Jr.- The Bright Lights EP review

With a musical style reminiscent of American guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Clark, Jr. has been considered to be the leader of the rock movement in Austin, Texas and has burst into the industry with his latest release, “The Bright Lights EP.” With a delicious blend of rock, soul, and blues, Clark has portrayed the ability to distinguish himself from the heavily saturated music industry and immerse his talent in an explorative array of various genres. Beginning his career by playing at small gigs throughout his teenage years, Clark has developed and grown immensely, thus being dubbed Rolling Stone’s “Best Young Gun” of the Rock Edition in April 2011 and featured on a Jackson 5 bonus track cover on Sheryl Crow’s, “100 Miles from Memphis.” With further awards and recognitions, Clark has established himself at the age of 27 to be a recognizable force.

The four-track EP is Clark’s third compilation, and delivers the mentality of an artist with an old soul, yet a young, ambitious drive. The opening song, “Bright Lights,” may remind some listeners of a recent single by neo-soul artist, Cee-Lo Green, in which both Clark and Green croon, “Bright lights, big city…” in their respective tracks. Yet it is Clark’s title track that features the heavy influence of guitars backed by beating drums. This formula continues on “Don’t Owe You a Thang,” and embodies the atmosphere of a Blues Night in a shack somewhere far out of town with people dancing in a dimly lit area and listening to the sounds of a musician, such as BB King. The last two tracks, “Things Are Changin”’ and “When My Train Pulls In,” are both live, solo, acoustic renditions featuring impeccable vocals by Clark surrounded by the talents of more guitars and drums, and conveys an R&B essence, another example of his capacity to fuse different genres.

The only thing lacking in Gary Clark, Jr.’s “The Bright Lights EP” is quantity, however the quality is absolutely present and leaves the listener yearning for more. With an extensive career history and plethora of milestones already achieved throughout the years, Clark may just be on his way to establishing himself as a legend in rock music not only in Austin, Texas, but also nationally. As he says on “Bright Lights,” “you’re gonna know my name…”

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